ESPN slapped Jemele Hill with a two week suspension after calling for the boycott of Jerry Jones and his sponsors following his comments about the anthem protesters. Hill had already been warned for her social media posts after previously calling President Trump a “white supremacist“. The move to suspend Hill was met with backlash from some supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement as well as calls to boycott ESPN.
Of course, ESPN has always been known to keep their personalities on a short leash. The fact that Jemele Hill even has a job shows that the company has a double standard. For example, the network fired Curt Schilling for his political statements which were much less inflammatory than calling the President of the United States a racist.
Still, ESPN kept Hill on board after she received plenty of support. Plenty of those that came to her aid were straight black men. While some in the BLM community were quick to defend Hill this time around, others were less than willing to come to her defense.
A couple weeks ago, Hill retweeted an article titled “Straight Black Men Are The White People Of Black People”. By doing this, she drew the ire of plenty of people who would normally agree with her. Plenty of BLM supporters, mostly straight black men, felt offended by this article (gee, I wonder why?). Hill gave a giant middle finger to people who have held her up for the duration of her career, and they sure let her know about it.
@jemelehill, leave us straight Black Men out of your mouth, please?
— Scottie Keith Barnett (@ScottieBarnet) September 26, 2017
— Dakem Daniels (@BromanClash) September 24, 2017
It was straight black men that fought off the mob when you said Trump was a white supremacist and you throw us under the bus
— gerald west (@freddgee1963) September 24, 2017
When Hill got suspended from ESPN, the consensus was similar. Many straight black men had no interest in defending a person who sold them out.
Without unpacking how stupid that headline is on multiple levels, the lesson here is that identity politics is stupid. The goal of identity politics is to divide the public into smaller and smaller groups until everybody hates everybody. This way, people are easier to control and make money off of.
When Jemele Hill insults masculine, straight black men for no reason at all, it simply highlights the fact that this cycle knows no boundaries. I found myself up-voting videos on YouTube from creators that I typically find racist and off-putting because we 100% agree on this issue. We can label white people as privileged, but the same people who do that will eventually label straight black men as privileged. The cycle will go on and on until a gay, transgender, Latina, disabled, Muslim woman with autism is crowned chief victim.
The lesson from Jemele Hill is that if everybody thought about it for a second, we would see how silly this tribalism truly is. When Jemele Hill retweeted that fringe article to her thousands of followers, straight black men felt the same way that white people feel when they are constantly lectured on their “privilege”. At the end of the day, all this stuff is BS meant to keep us divided. Don’t fall for it and judge people as individuals, not on group identity.